Corporate perceptions of K-12 schooling
Scott McLeod, J.D., Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Kentucky. He also is the Founding Director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE), the nation’s only academic center dedicated to the technology needs of school administrators, and was a co-creator of the wildly popular video series, Did You Know? (Shift Happens). He has received numerous national awards for his technology leadership work, including recognitions from the cable industry, Phi Delta Kappa, and the National School Boards Association. In Spring 2011 he was a Visiting Canterbury Fellow at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. Dr. McLeod blogs regularly about technology leadership issues at Dangerously Irrelevant and Mind Dump, and occasionally at The Huffington Post. He can be reached at scottmcleod.net.
I'm typing this in the Jackson Hole, Wyoming airport. Over the past five days I have had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go on a retreat with a group of corporate leaders from all over the globe (e.g., United States, Great Britain, Italy, Israel, Russia). We engaged in a number of recreational activities (e.g., fly-fishing, hiking, ATV riding, trips to Yellowstone). Most of us also facilitated a discussion session for the rest of the group (mine was on transitioning schools into the 21st century). As a result of this long weekend, I'm now on a first-name basis with CEOs, presidents, vice presidents, etc. from about fifteen different technology, media, and venture capital companies. Nearly all of these folks have a net worth in the tens or hundreds of millions of dollars. All of them are creative, talented, smart people: exemplars of the Creative Class.
So what did I learn from these corporate titans, these folks who have money, power, and political influence at levels that most of us can barely imagine?
- Their dissatisfaction with the public schools is extremely high;
Of course this sample is small and may not reflect the views of corporate leaders generally, but I'm guessing that they're fairly consistent with their peers. And while much of this may be nothing new, hearing these people talk about public schools was nonetheless illuminating and dismaying.
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